Stokes School Executive Director, Erika Bryant, awarded the prestigious Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes académiques by the Republic of France

APRIL 22, 2022

In a decree from Jean Castex, the Prime Minister of the Republic of France, Erika Bryant, Executive Director of Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School, was named Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques.  

This order recognizes valuable service in the field of education, science, and French culture. It was created by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1808. Nominees to the order are reviewed by the Embassy of France before being forwarded on to the Ministry of the French National Education in Paris. Nominations are confirmed by decree of the Prime Minister. 

The American Society of the French Academic Palms connects American members of the order to further French-American friendship, promote French culture, and to provide scholarship opportunities for American students in francophone countries. 

Other notable American recipients of Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes académiques include university professors, journalists, scholars, and cultural activists. 


About Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School 


Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School teaches children to think, speak, read, write and learn in two languages: English and French or English and Spanish. With a dual focus on academic excellence and community service, the Stokes School accomplishes its mission by creating an environment of achievement, respect and non-violence. 

Stokes School was founded by Linda Moore in 1998 in the basement of St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church in Columbia Heights. The school relocated to the Brookland neighborhood in 2008, and opened a second campus in the Capitol View neighborhood in 2018. Our namesake, Elsie Whitlow Stokes, was the mother of founder Linda Moore. She was an educator for over thirty years in the segregated schools of Little Rock, Arkansas. 

Erika Bryant, daughter of Linda Moore and granddaughter of Elsie Whitlow Stokes, has served as the Executive Director of Stokes School since 2013. Previously, she worked extensively throughout West and Central Africa and in the United States in the field of education and community development through the United States Peace Corps, and later with Africare. Ms. Bryant is a proud alumna of Spelman College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and she is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated.